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Yao a yao, yao dao wai po qiao (1995)

A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Xiao Jingbao
Baotian Li ...
Tang, the Gang Boss
Xiaoxiao Wang ...
Shuisheng, the boy
...
Liu, 6th Uncle
Chun Sun ...
Song, Tang's No. 2
Biao Fu ...
Zheng, Tang's No.3
Shu Chen ...
Shi Ye
Jiang Liu ...
Fat Yu
Baoying Jiang ...
Cuihua, the Widow
Qianquan Yang ...
Ah Jiao
Ying Gao
Weiming Gao
Shuliang Lian
Ya'nan Wang
Zhang Yayun
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Storyline

Uncle Liu brings his cousin to Shanghai to work for 'Boss,' the leader of a powerful drug empire in the 1930's. Shuisheng, a simple country boy is awed and overwhelmed by the opulence and immense wealth he is suddenly surrounded by. He is to be the attendant of Xiao Jingbao, the new mistress of 'Boss.' While he fumbles with the demands of his new role, much intrigue is going on around him, well beyond his bewildered perception. Xiao Jingbao is having a tumultuous affair, Fat Yu is starting a gang war, and 'Boss' is beginning to suspect that one of his trusted men is not loyal. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1930's Shanghai violence was not the problem. It was the solution.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and images of violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shanghai Triad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$2,300,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was a difficult film for Yimou Zhang to make. His relationship with his leading lady Li Gong was coming to an acrimonious end and the Chinese authorities were deliberately hassling him with complicated and elusive work permits. That was mainly because they were still annoyed with him for submitting his previous film To Live (1994) to the Cannes Film Festival without their permission. See more »

Quotes

Tang, the Gang Boss: Do you think I've been twiddling my thumbs since we got here?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting, beautiful, moving - Zhang Yimou rocks again
29 March 2000 | by (San Diego, CA) – See all my reviews

Zhang Yimou's attempt to squeeze yet another Chinese history lesson into one of his movies aside, I still came away unexpectedly moved by "Shanghai Triad." The story is fascinating, sometimes in a morbid way, sometimes in a childish one. I got the sense that I'm being witness to a myth in the making, one of those amazing stories out of history that have underlying messages about the human condition. Zhang's treatment of the aesthetic, both visual and aural (Ajiao's song makes for a wonderful musical theme), is moving as ever. And since it's by him, all the symbols, allusions, circular events, juxtaposition of characters - and all the rest of that - applies.

Gong Li as the bratty and doomed Bijou is wonderful to watch, and Wang Xiaoxiao is very effective as the audience's stand-in in the movie.

And the history lesson wasn't so bad either.


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